Ephemeral icing sugar mural to be installed on Visual Arts Centre building in September

Artist Shelley Miller’s sugar mural will be the literal and figurative icing on the cake of the VAC’s 75th anniversary celebrations

Icing Sugar Mural

Stained, 2011 , by Shelley Miller
Victoria, BC, Canada
Materials: Handmade sugar tiles, hand-painted design with edible inks. Applied to exterior wall with royal icing.
Additional piped icing surrounding tiles.

As part of the Visual Arts Centre’s (VAC) 75th anniversary events, Montreal artist Shelley Miller will create a commemorative participatory mural made entirely of icing sugar on the exterior wall of the VAC. Drawing on her extensive experience creating sugar-based contemporary art, Shelley Miller will use piped icing, sugar tiles, and a sugar-based cartouche to enliven the street and celebrate this historic building and organization.

Shelley Miller will also facilitate two pop-up workshops, where participants will learn how to pipe decorative elements, which will be integrated into the mural, connecting with the Centre’s long history of engaging diverse audiences in hands-on creative activity.

As VAC executive director Natasha Reid states, “Passersby will delight in seeing Shelley Miller install the mural – a lively and playful performative action that will be, literally and figuratively, the icing on the cake of our 75th anniversary celebrations!”

Montreal artist Shelley Miller specializes in creating public artwork and street art. For her permanent public art commissions, she works with various materials including concrete, ceramic and glass, but she is especially known for her ephemeral art installations and community engagement projects using icing sugar. She works live in front of audiences, installing her sugar murals while the public watches. The perishable icing sugar murals disappear little by little under the sun and rain. For more information, visit her website at www.shelleymillerstudio.com.

Mural Installation: September 3 (or, if rain, on Sept. 4 – to be confirmed on VAC Facebook page), 9 am to 4 pm
Pop-up Workshops: September 5 and 6, 12 pm to 3 pm
Completion of Mural: between September 10 and 13 (dates/times to be confirmed on VAC Facebook page)

N.B. All activities are free and take place outdoors, in a COVID-safe, socially distanced manner, at the Visual Arts Centre, at 350 Victoria Avenue in Westmount (H3Z 2N2).

Shelley Miller’s sugar mural project is supported by Conseil des arts de Montréal as part of its Art Out in the Open program, as well as by the City of Westmount, and Lantic Sugar Ltd.

The Visual Arts Centre is an art school, a sought-after contemporary art gallery, and an outreach programme where art is taught, made, exhibited, and shared seven days a week, all year round. Now in its 75th year, the Centre is a thriving cultural hub that supports an essential artistic community and contributes to the intellectual and emotional health and wellbeing of individuals. Housed in a three-storey heritage building, with the McClure Gallery situated on the ground floor, the Centre is the cultural heart of what is known as Victoria Village in Westmount, and draws thousands of people annually from across the city to attend its art courses, exhibitions and cultural programmes. Our McClure Gallery features approximately 10 exhibitions of emerging and established artists each year, along with artist lectures and guided tours, regular ‘art hive’ events and other special events, all of which have pivoted to online formats since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Through our ARTreach outreach programme, we continue to work with teens, seniors, at-risk populations, youth with special needs, and community centres, to enrich everyday lives in transformative ways.  www.visualartscentre.ca

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